I am almost home.
My Uncle on my father's side died. He had a progressive chronic illness and so it was sad and a blessing too. His wife had come out for my father's memorial. I wanted to go to his, to see all the cousins and family on my father's side. We spent more time with my mother's family when I was little, and with my parents and sister gone, I miss family.
But....it was in Fredricksburg, Virginia. I decided Thursday. I got tickets with plane changes, flying in via JFK. I thought a red eye on Saturday would get me to the east coast and then I'd be delayed. Oooops, then the storm decided to hit NYC too. So that plane was cancelled and I was rerouted for Sunday am at 6:20. I live two hours from Seattle, so I left Saturday night and got a "park and fly" room at La Quinta Inn. Flew at 6:20 the next morning to Atlanta. The plane to Washington National Airport, aka Reagan, was cancelled. I called a friend and admitted I was stranded. I went to the desk and they offered to fly me to Reagan on Wednesday. I shook my head, "Funeral Wednesday, so fly me home if you can't get me there. I'm willing to go to Dulles, but would rather not go to BWI." This time I had bought the travel insurance. They put me on a flight at 7:20 the next morning to Dulles.
And I stayed with strangers, now friends. It was lovely.
Flew in to Dulles. My friend B. picked me up amidst two feet of snow and five foot plowed piles. "I've never seen the roads so empty," he said. We went to his Arlington house and spent the day sledding with his wife and 7 year old. His road was one lane, down from two. Things were very much closed.
On tuesday he loaned me a car and I drove north to Gaithersburg, Maryland first. I visited my ex-husband's mother. Part of the reason I made the crazy trip is that she is 90 and I've been wanting to get back to see her but it's been hard to schedule. That was lovely too. The roads were pretty clear except the five lanes of beltway would suddenly narrow to one lane, with heavy equipment trying to move snow around. So the danger was mostly the going from 65 mph to 5 mph and frightening bottleneck merges.
Then I drove south. About 2.5 hours, from Gaithersburg, Maryland to Fredricksburg, Virginia. Again, scary heavy equipment and slowdowns to traffic barely moving. The government was still cancelled. I got to my aunt's.
Memorial on Wednesday, also lovely. I saw my other aunt and uncle, two cousins, their spouses, their four children, their spouses and significant others and two great grandchildren. An episcopalian service, and many of the grandchildren taking part in the service. It was quite beautiful. I was the photographer for the first half, with my aunt's camera. Her husband's sister's daughter took it for the reception. We managed about 150 photos between us.
Thursday back on the road north. I left at 9:30. Arlington about 11:00, and B took me to National Airport. Plane to Dallas, change and plane to Seattle. In at 7:30 west coast time and off to La Quinta Inn, but I got a room and crashed, no energy left to make the drive. Up early this am to catch the first ferry and I will go to work. Concert tonight in Port Angeles, hope I can find a ride. I don't want to do that drive either.
Blessings all and deep thanks to Atlanta and to all the friends who helped.